Chlorella is a miracle food. This single-celled freshwater microalgae is also a viable food source for humans. It has flourished for nearly two billion years. This underwater marvel photosynthesizes its energy from the sun and is also a powerhouse of nutrients. It is a natural source of vegetarian protein and boasts a very high level for a plant. Since World War II, chlorella has been investigated as a food source. Both its high protein concentration and naturally rapid growth rate make it an ideal source of nutrition.
An Underwater Superfood
Chlorella is rich in amino acids, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. This includes an impressive list: B-vitamins, vitamins A and D, iron, magnesium, potassium, and also zinc. Currently, scientists around the world are researching* both medical and nutritional uses for this aquatic-based superfood. Chlorella’s potential benefits for both health and vitality include the following:
• Detoxification from heavy metals, including mercury
• Supporting optimal immune system function
• Antioxidant properties
• Anti-inflammatory properties
The structure of the cell wall in chlorella allows it to bind with heavy metals. This keeps the phytonutrient healthy. This is why chlorella has survived for millennia, even in polluted aquatic environments. This rare ability to bind to toxins has given rise to preclinical studies on the role chlorella may play in detoxification for optimal health in humans, as our internal environment is primarily aquatic.
There are many types of chlorella on the market, in pill and powder form. For human consumption, “Broken-cell-wall” chlorella is ideal for digestion. Development must also be done under careful quality control conditions. Additionally, Daily Values for this nutrient have not been established. It is imperative to consult with your health practitioner before selecting a chlorella supplement.
*(chemical assays, animal and also limited human studies)
Merchant, R.E., and C.A. Andre. “A Review of Recent Clinical Trials of the Nutritional Supplement Chlorella Pyrenoidosa in the Treatment of Fibromyalgia, Hypertension, and Ulcerative Colitis.” Abstract. Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine 7, no. 3 (May-June 2001): 79-91. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11347287
Both sample of studies indexed in PubMed database for “chlorella supplementation”
Wu, Y., and W.X. Wang. “Intracellular Speciation and Transformation of Inorganic Mercury in Marine Phytoplankton.” Abstract. Aquatic Toxicology 148 (March 2014):122-9. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24473163
Rich Jacobs is a Board Certified Integrative and Functional Nutrition Practitioner who specializes in resolving gut, insomnia, low libido, fatigue and fat issues. He uses a holistic approach and functional lab work to identify root causes such as hormone imbalances or gut pathogens that could be impacting your health.